Prognathism of the Lower Jaw
Prοgnathism of the lower jaw occurs when during infancy and childhood the lower jaw develops more than normal. As a result, in adolescence the lower teeth and jaw protrude from the upper ones. With the help of X-rays, the orthodontist can establish whether the lower jaw is larger than the upper one, or the upper is smaller than the lower one or both.
Clinical picture – Diagnosis
In this case, the clinical picture shows a dentition in which the lower teeth close more forward (!) than the upper ones, while the extended chin negatively affects the aesthetics of the face. The smile and the teeth are “lost” due to the reverse – inverted closure while the concave face acquires a more aggressive, unattractive look.
The aforementioned reverse closure causes the so-called Class III orthodontic malocclusion that needs treatment as soon as it is diagnosed.
Mandibular prognathism is a trait largely inherited from parents to children and is associated with disproportionate downward and forward development of the mandible. At the same time, however, it may be associated with underdevelopment of the upper jaw or a combination of both.
As soon as we, parents, realize that our child’s lower denture tends to close further forward than the upper one, we must see an orthodontist immediately. This is because if the skeletal abnormality of the mandibular prognathism is left untreated, it can lead to poor chewing ability, speech disorder and / or facial asymmetry.
Treatment of Proganthism
From the age of 6, we can preventively apply oral devices – masks to prevent the overgrowth of the lower jaw. Accordingly, if the problem is due to the under-development of the upper jaw, we apply orthodontic appliances that favor the growth of the upper jaw. These are worn by children or teenagers during sleep and generally while at home for a total of 14-15 hours. Thus, we help the top jaw move forward with their growth and / or restraint in the right direction.
At an older age, during adulthood, when the development of the mandible is complete, we can only visually correct the problem with tooth movements or, when necessary, completely restore it with a combination of orthodontic treatment and maxillofacial surgery.